Park officials request canines to assist in search for missing teen

by Aug 16, 2017NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


Austin Bohanan (Photo courtesy of NPS)

Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials continue to search for missing Blount County teen Austin Bohanan.  Late yesterday afternoon, Tennessee Highway Patrol utilized a Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter to conduct visual search of the area with no significant findings.

This morning, five search teams consisting of rangers from the park’s Search and Rescue team, officers with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Authority and individuals with the Backcountry Unit Search and Rescue team (BUSAR) have a total of 24 individuals searching the area.  Park officials have also requested the assistance of two canine search teams through Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to assist with search efforts.

At this time, search operations remain limited to a select number of trained searchers to enable a systematic, thorough search of the area. By limiting the number of searchers in the area, rangers have the best chance to find Bohanan quickly. Dog teams and trackers can be hampered by additional people in the area when searchers are looking for signs of hiker travel.

Bohanan was reportedly last seen hiking off-trail in the remote southwest corner of the park on the evening of Friday, Aug. 11.  He was reported missing at approximately 8pm on Sunday, Aug. 13 to the park’s Emergency Communication Center.

Bohanan is a white male between 5’2”-5’5” feet tall, weighs between 120-150 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.  He was last seen wearing blue jeans, unknown color t-shirt, and blue Nike baseball cap. If anyone has seen Bohanan since Friday evening, call the Park (865) 436-1230.